Military top brass sworn in on first day as senators

Military top brass sworn in on first day as senators

The defence permanent secretary and chiefs of the navy and the air force reported for duty as newly appointed senators on Monday.

Gen Worakiat Rattananont, Adm Somprasong Nilsamai and ACM Napadej Dhuphtemiya took the oath of office before starting their jobs, following the announcement of their appointments by Senate Speaker Pornpetch Wichitcholchai.

They replaced Gen Nat Intaracharoen, Adm Chatchai Srivorakhan and ACM Airbull Suttiwan who all retired from military services at the end of September, the last month of the previous fiscal year.

Under the constitution, six of the Senate seats are reserved for the supreme commander, the army, navy and air force chiefs, the defence permanent secretary and the national police chief.

It was reported that ACM Manat Roopkhachorn handed in his resignation letter on Nov 1, citing health reasons, while Anumat Ahmad formally resigned on Nov 3 amid speculation he would join the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) to help with its election campaign in the South.

Two people on the reserve list will be appointed to replace them, according to the source.

The first three candidates on the reserve list are former deputy permanent secretary for the Foreign Ministry Suwat Jiraphan, Deputy Defence Minister Chaichan Changmongkol and Election Commission secretary-general Jarungvith Phumma.

However, Gen Chaichan and Mr Jarungvith are required to step down from their current posts if they want to serve as senators, according to the source. If they decide to carry on, Leucha Karnmuang, a former aide to former foreign minister Surin Pitsuwan, is eligible to be appointed.

PPRP leader Prawit Wongsuwon yesterday refused to answer reporters' questions about speculation involving Mr Anumat joining the ruling party.

He also declined to comment about reports that former police chief Chakthip Chaijinda and former permanent secretary for interior Chatchai Phromlert would apply to become members.

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